A Pegasus satellite in orbit
|Major contractors||Fairchild Hiller|
|Launch date||16 February 1965|
|Carrier rocket||Saturn I SA-9|
|Launch site||Cape Kennedy LC-37B|
|Orbital decay||17 September 1978|
|Mass||10,297 kilograms (22,700 lb)
1,450 kilograms (3,200 lb) (payload only)
|Apoapsis||731 kilometres (454 mi)|
|Periapsis||500 kilometres (310 mi)|
|Orbital period||97 minutes|
Pegasus 1 or I, known before launch as Pegasus A, was an American satellite which was launched in 1965 to study micrometeoroid impacts in Low Earth orbit. It was the first of three Pegasus satellites to be launched. The Pegasus spacecraft were manufactured by Fairchild Hiller, and operated by NASA.
Pegasus 1 was a Pegasus spacecraft, consisting of 1,450 kilograms (3,200 lb) of instruments, attached to the S-IV upper stage of the carrier rocket which had placed it into orbit. It had a total mass of 10,297 kilograms (22,700 lb), and was equipped with two sets of micrometeoroid detection panels, and a radio for tracking and returning data. The panels were 29 metres (95 ft) long, and equipped with 116 individual detectors.
Pegasus 1 was launched atop a Saturn I rocket, serial number SA-9, flying from Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Kennedy Air Force Station. The launch occurred at 14:37:03 UTC on 16 February 1965. Following launch, Pegasus 1 was given the COSPAR designation 1965-009A, whilst NORAD assigned it the Satellite Catalog Number 01085.
Pegasus 1 was a secondary payload on the carrier rocket, which was carrying a boilerplate Apollo spacecraft, Apollo 103 or BP-16, as part of a series of configuration tests for the Apollo program. The Apollo boilerplate acted as a payload fairing for the Pegasus spacecraft, which was stored inside what would have been the Service Module of a functional spacecraft. Upon reaching orbit, the boilerplate Command and Service modules were jettisoned.
The trajectory and space-fixed velocity were very nearly as planned. The Apollo shroud separated from the Pegasus satellite about 804 seconds after lift-off and deployment of two meteoroid detection panel wings of the Pegasus satellite commenced about 1 minute later.
Pegasus 1 was operated in a low Earth orbit. On 18 March 1965 it was catalogued as being in an orbit with a perigee of 500 kilometres (270 nmi) and an apogee of 731 kilometres (395 nmi), inclined at 51.6 degrees to the equator and with a period of 97 minutes. Once in orbit, the panels were deployed to detect micrometeoroid impacts. Experiment results were returned to Earth by radio. The spacecraft operated until 29 August 1968, and subsequently remained in orbit until it decayed and reentered the atmosphere on 17 September 1978. Although minor malfunctions occurred in both the launch vehicle and the satellite, the mission was a success in that all objectives were met.
See also 
- Krebs, Gunter. "Pegasus 1, 2, 3". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- "World Civil Satellites 1957-2006". Space Security Index. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- Wade, Mark. "Pegasus". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch List". Launch Vehicle Database. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- "Pegasus 1". NSSDC Master Catalog. US National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 20 December 2010.